Derek Sloan: Bill C-16 “effectively redefines the meaning of gender”

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on March 5, 2020

Derek Sloan is currently running in the Conservative Party leadership race and has been quickly gaining a lot of attention despite having only been first elected to parliament this past October.

Derek is the Member of Parliament for Hastings—Lennox and Addington an hour outside of Toronto, beating the Liberal incumbent by an over 3,000 vote margin.

Recently Derek, despite having a short political history, has become a contender for the Conservative leadership race, mostly off the back of his unwavering commitment to conservative values, both economic and social.

One issue that has put Derek on the map for many voters is his opposition to Bill C-16, known by some as the “compelled speech” bill. Derek’s objection was made public most pointedly when he appeared on CTV’s Power Play with Evan Solomon, where the two men got into a contentious argument over topics like sexual orientation, gender-affirming counselling, and of course Bill C-16. 

The National Telegraph got an interview with Derek to lay out his views on Bill C-16 in more detail as well as seeing how his opposition to that legislation has affected his leadership campaign. 

Derek first laid out for us the current difficulty with obtaining or verifying whether or not a Gender-Based Analysis (GBA) of Bill-16 to evaluate its effect on women and men.

Derek explained that “Trudeau government pledge that no piece of legislation that it proposed would ever pass without a full and proper gender-based analysis, which was an analysis to see how the legislation would affect men and women, because, as they said, legislation impacts men and women differently. So, in C-16, we have a bill that effectively redefines the meaning of gender itself, which most certainly you would think would have an impact on men and women, [but] there is no gender-based analysis available for the public, or even legislators to review”

The Liberal government, according to Derek, has been extremely defensive of releasing any information on the gender impact of Bill C-16. Derek said that “A variety of women’s groups have asked for the GPA, but the entire report, if it even exists at all has been dubbed cabinet confidence, and therefore they’re not going to release it.” which only raises more questions on the results or existence of the GBA.

“To myself and others, it looks well it’s smoke, and where there’s smoke, there are fires,” Derek said.

Derek, along with talking a lot about the issue inherent in Bill C-16, has also taken proactive actions to get a GBA released. He recently sponsored the petition e-2289 on February 14th, which requests the creation and release of a GBA.

After Derek’s interview with Evan Solomon on CTV, he had been inundated with emails from feminists and women’s groups across Canada, “thanking me for speaking about Bill C-16”, which spurred Derek to support e-2289 which was about to go unsponsored as all other MPs asked had declined to previously.

All of this may seem like a lot of grinding process and bureaucracy to even get a GBA, but Derek believes it is crucial to challenge Bill C-16 based on the damage it can do to women and free speech. 

Derek stated that “In relation to women’s rights, those women’s issues with Bill C-16, is that they believe that by elevating gender identity or gender expression, to the status of a sex-based, right, which as we know are charter base, so sex-based rights are in the charter, and by doing that, it undermines those rights.” 

Although to someone unaware of the issues surrounding Bill C-16, the issues with the legislation may seem far fetched, but Derek makes it clear that the standards undergirding the law are as unchecked as other opponents to Bill C-16 have said.

The bill allows anyone who says they identify as a woman to have the same rights as a woman, and so women safe spaces, such as prisons or shelters for victims of violence, and shelters for homeless women, are segregated by sex to ensure women’s safety. And so Bill C-16 allows men who identify as women to enter these safe spaces. So, for example, men can now be transferred to women’s prisons if they identify as women. I’ve seen some information to suggest that maybe even half of these men that are requesting transfers are in jail for sexual assault, to begin with. So this is very frightening to two women’s groups and me.

What may not be known to many is that crime reports in Canada are also now being done by gender identity, which Derek says will result in “crimes perpetrated by men will be attributed to women.”

When TNT asked whether or not other Conservative leadership candidates were taking a similar stand against Bill C-16, Derek said, “none that I am aware of,” pointing to a potential glut in the race against legislation many Conservative members see as radical and in violation of Charter rights, especially when it comes to free speech. 

Derek’s leadership campaign has yet to release official policy regarding Bill C-16, but it will be made public in the coming weeks. 

Bill C-16 may potentially harm Canadian’s freedom of speech as it has made it violative of the law to call someone by a pronoun that they do not self-identify as claiming that it is some form of harassment or discrimination. 

Derek acknowledges that politically the stand he is taking is contentious but believes that ultimately Bill C-16 is a net negative to Canada. 

Derek explained that “I agree that it’s thorny, you know when you listen to the Senate testimony on C-16 by people like Jordan Peterson, you know, they made very compelling arguments about the potential for C-16 to be a tool of compelled speech and forced ideological training. That’s a big enough reason, in my view, to reject it.”


He went onto mention the case of a father in B.C who is being forced by court order to use masculine pronouns for his daughter and enforcing her conversion to a male. This particular case arose in significant part due to Bill C-16.

Gender reassignment is one particular subject that Evan Solomon had prodded Derek for not supporting in his interview with him on Power Play. This is despite all evidence that shows most kids who identify as trans tend to stop before the age of 18.

Desistance may be in large part explained by a study conducted by Lisa Littman, who found a significant trend of one trans identity spreading in adolescent friend groups after one member of the group identifies as trans. This is, of course, acceptable behaviour of youth wanting to fit in with friends.

Derek touched on that same sort of point, saying, “There’s no medical or psychological association that denies the fact that the bulk of kids who identify as trans end up by the time they reach adulthood being happy with the body they’re born with. Some of them may end up be identifying as gay or lesbian. Many of them identify as straight and identify with the body they’re born with.” 

Although many Conservatives seem to want to avoid the issue of Bill C-16, assuming that taking a stand against it will be too controversial and alienate voters, Derek has been experiencing the exact opposite. 

According to Derek, “I’ve received support from free speech advocates and parental rights advocates. But what surprised me was the number of different women’s groups across the country. And we’re talking women from all political stripes, including outright left-leaning feminists.”

It may be news to some, but there is a deep and angry divide in the feminist community on whether or not trans identification undermines women’s rights and what it means to be a woman. 

It can’t be known who exactly supports Derek’s push against C-16, but it would not be unbelievable of left-wing identifying feminists like Megan Murphy may be included in the various feminist supporters.

Regardless of what you think about Derek Sloan’s politics, it is undeniable that for a freshman MP he is garnering a lot of attention and maybe a solid contender for the Conservative leadership due to his firm stand for conservative principles. 

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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